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Omniplex Planetarium show highlights Pawnee Indian heritage



Astronomy-minded kids can learn how the Pawnee Indians explained the creation of Earth through the stars with "Spirits from the Sky, Thunder on the Land," playing now through Nov. 18 at the Planetarium at the Omniplex Science Museum, 2100 N.E. 52nd. 

The show will take visitors on a journey with the Pawnee Indians, who annually migrated with herds of buffalo from their ancestral homeland in Nebraska to as far as Oklahoma.

The Skidi Band, one of the Pawnee Nation's four bands, created "sacred bundles," which held certain items to ensure prosperity of the Pawnee people. One such bundle was known as the "Black Star Bundle" and contained the tribe's story of the creation of Earth, along with a star map written on buffalo hide. 

Planetarium director Wayne Harris-Wyrick said the show originated from a visit by several Pawnee Indians to the Planetarium.

"They were pointing out their constellation patterns and telling us their stories," he said. "The result of that encounter is this program. It tells us how they use the night sky and why it is important to them."

Harris-Wyrick said this show is particularly relevant because of Oklahoma's rich American Indian heritage.
"We have one of the highest densities of Indian populations here in Oklahoma," he said. "There is a resurgence of Indian culture and Native Americans trying to keep their history alive."

Showtimes are daily at 2 p.m. with additional times on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 602-6664 or visit visit their site.

"Lisa Janssen


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